For those unfamiliar, the University City Science Center is an urban research center in, big surprise, West Philly, on Market Street next to Drexel and Penn. The campus of the Science Center stretches over multiple blocks, covering 15 buildings and includes office and lab space for start-up and mature companies alike. After five decades, the Science Center is looking to grow and rebrand its campus into UCity Square, and with that effort will come the construction of multiple new buildings which will ultimately mean a 1M sqft expansion. And the redevelopment of a surface parking lot at 3400 Market St. seems like it will be an upcoming step in this process.

Current view

View on Ludlow Street

Permits went up relatively recently here, announcing the consolidation of 3400 Market and part of 3401 Ludlow St. in an early step in the process of building a new 16-story building. A sign went up at the site a few months ago, in case you don't believe our words.

Sign at the site

This building will include office and lab space, and will have 5,000 sqft of retail space on its first floor. With 25K sqft floor plates and easy access to public transportation, this building will be very attractive for any number of possible tenants, and we wonder whether they'll start construction before signing at least a few leases. That being said, we've got some renderings to show you, to give you an idea of what will happen here at some point.

Building rendering

View at street level

And here's a drawing of the entire ten year plan for UCity Square.

Site plan for future development. 3400 Market is in the top right corner

If even half of these projects come to fruition, it will be a big step forward for innovation in Philadelphia. Wouldn't this be amazing?